Hello Lynda, I am one of the experts on Just Answer and pleased to be able to help you with your question. Unfortunately, student accommodation is not exempt from Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), a commonly held misconception.
Here is the advice from the British Property Federation:
'The relief operates by using the average value of the units/flats within the property, rather than the gross purchase price, to determine the SDLT rate applicable on a sale. For example, an investor purchases a block of ten flats for £2m. The average value of the flats, £200,000, determines the SDLT rate applicable to the purchase price. Therefore SDLT is payable at 1%, the rate applicable to residential transactions with a value between £125,000 and £250,000, rather than the 4% rate for transactions with a value over £500,000. The SDLT charge is £20,000 (1% of £2m), rather than £80,000 (4% of £2m).
The minimum SDLT rate payable under the relief is 1%, so if the relief is claimed on a sale where the average value of the flats is less than £125,000 (the 1% threshold for residential property), tax at 1% of the aggregate consideration would still be payable.'
The studio would escape SDLT anyway as the consideration is below 125K.
I am so sorry to have to give you such gloomy information.